Detention center employee indicted for smuggling contraband to inmates

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 2:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 7:59 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Jackson County Detention Center employee and three associates were indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a contraband smuggling conspiracy.

The employee, 42-year-old Aaron D. Copes, of Grandview, Missouri, allegedly took bribe money and sexual favors in exchange for smuggling papers laced with K2 to jail inmates. Along with him, Deanna Clark, 32, and Stephanie McDaniel, 31, both of Kansas City, Missouri, and James A. Booker, Jr., 37, of Raytown, were charged in a single-count indictment returned on May 31, 2023.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Copes was employed as a case manager at the Jackson County Detention Center. Among his duties was interviewing inmates daily, providing counseling and mediation for inmates and providing training to correctional officers.

The DOJ said Clark and Booker were close associates of an inmate and McDaniel was the girlfriend of an unidentified co-conspirator.

The conspiracy allegedly ran from March 2020 to October 2021.

The conspirators allegedly smuggled in K2, a controlled substance, which was soaked onto sheets of paper that were smoked by inmates.